Getting to Know our Donors: Erin Chezick
French writer Marcel Proust became well known for a questionnaire that could reveal an individual’s true nature. The questions—a mix of serious and playful—were meant as a form of interview to unearth one’s personality.
At Carleton, our donors come from all walks of life. They have varying passions, interests and aspirations. They resonate with certain causes, want to advance diverse fields of study and have different reasons for wanting to better society through education.
Borrowing from such illustrious avenues like Vanity Fair and Inside the Actors Studio—which have both adapted the Proust Questionnaire for their own audiences—Carleton has created “The Donor Questionnaire” to learn a little bit more about those who charitably support Carleton and what inspires them to make an impact on their community and the world.
Do you have a personal motto / credo / saying?
Say YES! When you’re presented with an opportunity, no matter how small, take it – you never know where it can lead or what doors it may open.
Who is your favourite fictional character?
Definitely Scarlett O’Hara. Gone with the Wind has a special place in my heart, and Scarlett is a strong woman who knows what she wants and (usually) gets it! Her tactics may be – ok, are definitely – nefarious, but that’s part of her charm.
Who is your real-life hero / heroine?
Maya Angelou has been an inspiration to me since I was a teenager. She was an amazing and unbelievably talented woman who lead a fascinating life.
What do you appreciate most about your friends?
I appreciate having friends with diverse interests. Each of them are so talented and connected with things they are passionate about, and I get to learn from them all the time.
Which rules you more: your heart or your head?
I’m Type A to the core – head!
In one sentence, what would you say is the value of education?
To borrow from Albert Einstein, the value of true education is learning how to think.
What is your favourite Carleton memory?
My favourite Carleton memory is arriving on campus when I moved in to residence. I had arrived in Ottawa for the first time the night before after a long road trip from Thunder Bay, Ontario, and everything was exciting and new. It’s incredible to look back on that and think of everything that stemmed from that day.
What superpower would you wish to be gifted with?
Teleportation. Never having to deal with an airline again? Ability to avoid the daily commute? Sign me up!
What would you like to pass on to future generations?
When I think of future generations I think of my nieces and nephews, and I hope to pass on a love of reading. That may seem small scale but I think a great number of life- and world-changing things naturally follow reading – empathy, lifelong learning, an expansion of your horizons.
What inspires you to “do good” for your community and for the world?
I’m inspired to “do good” in my community by my fellow community members. There are inspiring people doing amazing things and having real impact throughout the Carleton, Ottawa, and global communities, and that inspires me to contribute.